The Best White Cake Recipe {Ever}

This White Cake Recipe will quickly become your favorite for so many celebrations and events. This simple white cake recipe is easy to follow and yields a moist, tender white cake you’ll love.

White Cake Recipe | ©addapinch.com

Okay, you asked for it. I’ve gotten so many emails and comments asking for “The Best White Cake Recipe” since I posted my The Best Chocolate Cake Recipe {Ever} a while back. Believe me, I wasn’t ignoring you.

You see, I had my Grandmother’s recipe for a Vanilla Cake and I had the recipe for my Butter Cake, so, I started working on trying to take the best of those two recipes while making the cake decidedly white and perfect for birthdays, anniversaries, and yep, even weddings, if you’d like.

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My son declared this white cake recipe as “perfect” while Bart said, “Now, that’s cake.”

Umm, from him, that’s a good thing. I think.

My brother-in-law called me to tell me that this was to be his birthday cake every single year until the year he dies. We had a good laugh at that one, but I have to remember each June to make sure not to make him another version of cake on his birthday from this point forward. That’s pressure, because the older I get, the less I seem to remember. Heh.

My white cake recipe is a sturdy recipe. Tender, yet moist and holds together well from cooling to frosting to slicing and serving. It just works.

While many white cake recipes use only egg whites, I decided (after lots and lots of trying, mind you) that I preferred the flavor that the whole egg lends to the cake. While the cake isn’t stark white, it is still white.

Make sense?

White Cake Recipe | ©addapinch.com

 

I used my Fluffy White Buttercream frosting, which I doubled, when I frosted the cake, but you can really use whatever frosting is your favorite on this cake. Strawberry Buttercream Frosting, Cream Cheese Frosting, Espresso Chocolate Buttercream Frosting? Any would be fabulous!

So, the next time you need a white cake recipe, give this one a try. I think you’ll love it!

Here’s my White Cake Recipe. My family calls it the best. Ever.

Yield: 12

The Best White Cake Recipe {ever}

Total Time 40 minutes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
This White Cake Recipe will quickly become your favorite for so many celebrations and events. This simple white cake recipe is easy to follow and yields a moist, tender white cake you'll love.
4.39 from 616 votes
Did you make this recipe?

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter softened
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs room temperature
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk room temperature
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F. Prepare three 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick baking spray or coated well with shortening or butter and floured, taking care to remove all excess flour.
  2. Cream together butter and shortening until light and fluffy with an electric mixer. Slowly add sugar one cup at a time, making sure to fully incorporate each cup before adding another. Add eggs one at a time, making sure to fully incorporate each egg before adding another.
  3. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Pour milks and vanilla into measuring cup and whisk together with a fork. Add to butter and shortening mixture alternately with milk mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.
  4. Gently stir all ingredients until well combined. Stop mixer and scrape down sides and bottom of bowl, making sure to have all ingredients mixed well.
  5. Evenly distribute cake batter between cake pans and place pans into oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove and allow to cool slightly in cake pans for about 5 minutes, then cool completely on a wire rack.
  6. Frost cake as desired.

Notes

Some people have had problems with the cake not rising. Try creaming the butter shortening, and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Don't over beat when adding eggs and other ingredients, just mix gently until incorporated well into batter.
-This recipe makes approximately 24 cupcakes when cupcake tin is filled more than 3/4 full. When filled 1/2 full, this recipe makes approximately 36 cupcakes. Bake approximately 18 minutes.
- If you preferred the original white cake recipe, it used 1/2 teaspoon baking powder and 1 cup buttermilk with no whole milk.
- If you live in a high altitude environment, you'll need to make sure to follow recommended baking adjustments for your altitude.

All images and text © Robyn Stone for Add a Pinch

 

Here’s to good cake! Love ya bunches!
Robyn xo

I thought I would copy this comment from The Pastry Life, comment #1062 to this area of the post as it might be helpful to you.

“Hi there, I am a pastry chef and have lots of knowledge of cakes, and why they do the funny things that they do. Let me start of by saying this cake is delicious, moist and fluffy! This is thanks to the seemingly large amount of sugar and fats, so do not reduce the amounts or make substitutions! If you’re that concerned about the healthiness of this cake, you should probably just avoid it.

This cake does not rise much, but that does not negatively affect its fluffiness. I followed the directions exactly, except for one very important step which I believe is why my cake is so fluffy inside and did not sink. Cream your butter, shortening and sugar altogether until very white and fluffy (about 4 minutes). After that, follow the instructions to a T. If you overbeat after adding the eggs, they will produce a tougher cake. Take extra care while rotating pans as to not deflate the cakes, and resist the urge to open your oven door to peek except when you need to rotate.

This cake does form a bit of a crust on top from the high egg and sugar content, which makes it more difficult to tell when it is done. Your best hint is your nose. If you can smell cake, then check it! If its not jiggly, take it out and scoop a little bit out of the middle to see if it’s done (you’re gonna cover it with frosting anyway). Don’t trust the toothpick-test!

Sorry for writing a novel, I just know how hard it is to make a great white cake and this recipe is probably the best I’ve had yet, so it made me sad to see how many people were disappointed by it due to their lack of pastry knowledge and proper method.”

 

2,766 comments on “The Best White Cake Recipe {Ever}”

  1. I’ve made this recipe with Robyn’s Classic Vanilla Buttercream for my husband’s last 3 birthdays…. it is the BEST from scratch cake recipe I have ever had! It is rich and delicious with exceptional flavor and texture. The cake never lasts very long around my house! I’ll never make white cake from a different recipe.

  2. I made this recipe into cupcakes. Because it is so rich, they did adhere to the liners a bit. I increased the baking powder to 1 Tablespoon to ensure rising. I followed the pastry chef’s suggestion of creaming for four minutes. Otherwise, I followed the original recipe. The flavor was amazing.

  3. Hi!
    Is it possible to make this cake with 2 9 inch pans? I have 2 10 inch pans as well. I would like to make it for my husband’s birthday for tomorrow and I only have 2 of each! I made your chocolate cake last month for my son and it came out great in 2 9 inch pans!
    Thanks! 
    Alyssa 

    • I would also like to know if I can use two 9 inch pans. Do you think it will affect the bake?

      Alyssa, if you did use two pans, how did it turn out?

      • Hi April,
        The recipe makes enough cake batter for the three 9 inch pans I call for in the recipe. If you choose to only make two layers, you can make a few cupcakes with the other amount. Thanks!

  4. I made cupcakes for a birthday in the office Some with coffee icing and some with cream cheese icing. Huge hit! Everyone raved about them thanks for the great recipe

  5. I’m very excited to make this, ive been looking for a great white cake recipe. I was wondering if I can substitute the vegetable shortening for  more butter and if so what quantity would I use? 

  6. Hi Robyn do you think this cake would be do-able with almond milk and a substitute buttermilk? I wouldn’t ask except some people coming are dairy intolerant and I’d love to give this a go! Thank you in advance for your time

  7. I wanted to use this recipe in a marble cake (because it is awesome) any suggestions for a chocolate recipe that will work with it??

  8. This is now my go-to white cake recipe. Simply perfect.

  9. This is now my go to white cake recipe. Simply perfect.

  10. Can this be substituted with butter? Will it affect the fluffiness or texture of cake?

  11. I used self rising flour and it fell in the center, could that be the problem ???

    • Hi April,
      Yes, I’m afraid that is why it fell. For the best results, you will want to follow the ingredients and the instructions exactly as written. There is also a comment from a professional pastry chef who uses my recipe in his shop that I think may be helpful too. It’s shared close to the recipe. I share some detailed instructions in my blog post too. Hope this helps. Thanks!

  12. I made this today as a rainbow cake. It was delicious! Will use passion fruit curd to sandwich the layers together.

  13. Has anyone tried to make this with gluten free flour? This was my go to birthday cake recipe but my oldest daughter was diagnosed with Celiac last year so I’m having to replace all of my baked good recipe favorites with gluten free variations.

  14. What is the difference between this cake and your “Best Vanilla Cake”? Both contain vanilla extract so I wasn’t sure which one to use.

    • Hi Liz,
      Both cakes are delicious, but they are a bit different! I love them both!
      This Best White Cake is a 3 layer cake, has a few more steps to prep and is a bit more dense than the Vanilla Cake. The cake is more white in color than the Vanilla Cake. (Think wedding cake consistency.)
      The Best Vanilla Cake comes together a bit more quickly & easily and is a “sister” cake to my Best Chocolate Cake if you’ve ever made it. It has a moist, less dense texture than the White Cake and does taste more vanilla than the White Cake. I hope this helps and you enjoy the cakes! xo

  15. Do I use unsalted butter or salted?

  16. I wanted to drop you a note to thank you for this recipe! It always gets rave reviews. I have used it for wedding/birthday cakes and it holds up to fondant and stacking well This is my go to white cake recipe. It is perfect!

  17. Hi! First, thank you for all your recipes! I love them so much and always have success following your directions. 

    I was curious if I’m making this cake right. It’s really good, but definitely tastes and has the texture of a pound cake. (I love pound cake so no big deal) But I was wondering if it should be more light and fluffy? (Which my husband prefers) If so, what should I watch/do differently?

    • Hi Melissa,
      I’m so thrilled that you enjoy the recipes – I really appreciate your sweet comment!
      This cake is more of a dense cake with a heavier texture. I have some tips I’ve shared from a professional pastry chef just below the recipe to double check your steps -and I detail them all in the blog post as well. But do note this is a heavier texture.
      If you are looking for fluffier, you might want to try my Best Vanilla Cake or Best Chocolate Cake. I will say for the chocolate cake – don’t skip the boiling water part. It makes the fluffiest, moist cake!
      I hope this helps! Thanks so much! xo

  18. I make this recipe for every birthday party. People who don’t even like to eat cake end up eating the cake

  19. Hello!!! Can I substitute shortening with butter? Will it affect the taste and texture?
    Can I pop it in the fridge a day before serving?
    Thank!!

    • Hi R,
      It may have a slightly different look and texture. I prefer to use the shortening and butter as listed in the recipe for the best results, but you can do that if you wish.
      There is no need to refrigerate if serving it the next day. Just cover or place under a cake dome.

  20. I’ve tried a few different cake recipes and for some reason they never turn out right. This recipe turned out perfectly. I only put in 2 cups of sugar and I thought it was still too sweet, but my kids loved it and I really enjoyed it too. I thought this should be called a “Sugar Cookie Cake” because that is exactly what it tasted like. If you add cinnamon it could be a “Snickerdoodle Cake.” I’m making this cake for the second time today and I will definitely use this recipe (with less sugar) in the future.

    • Hi Kel!
      I’m so happy you enjoyed the cake! It’s one of our favorites too!
      I will advise though that you may want to be careful in changing the amounts of ingredients – like the sugar you mention using less of. I have shared a comment adjacent to the recipe from a pastry chef who bakes this cake in his business that may explain it better. It may work out fine for you but I just wanted to mention just in case.
      Thanks so much for the kind comment! xo

  21. Hi Robyn! First off I want to say I like this cake. Unfortunately,for me every time I go to rotate the cakes they deflate and sink in the middle, UGH! It doesn’t say in your instructions went to rotate them but unfortunately, I end up forgetting and try to rotate them towards the end of baking typically around 20 minutes in. My suggestion to those who are having this issue is to rotate early like 10 to 15 minutes in or don’t rotate at all and leave them alone. I’ve only made this recipe twice both times they sunk in the middle but, they still taste great.

    • Hi Sue! I’m so glad you like the cake!
      I’m sorry your cakes sunk. I think it is because you are opening the oven while they are baking. I suggest leaving them alone while they bake – I don’t rotate them at all. Hope this helps! Thanks!

  22. It would be great if you could add the part about not beating the eggs too much in the directions.  I mistook the idea of music after every egg to means it should be well beaten.  I did not know I shouldn’t have done this until after I completed the recipe.  Now I’m worried I used all those ingredients and time to make a not very good cake.  Thanks!

  23. Family favorite. Even the ones who “don’t eat cake”. 

  24. I have tried many vanilla layer cakes and this is by far the best! It is everything you want in a vanilla cake. Baked flat, great texture, beautiful color and amazing taste. Thank you for sharing this recipe. It will forever be in my rotation.

  25. Hi there, 
    I just made the cake and it tastes delicious, but it was a bit dry.  Did I maybe cook it too long or do others have this problem too?  

    • I’m sorry it was a bit dry, Katie. I’ve not ever had a problem with it being dry and I make it quite often. It could be that it baked a bit too long, but I’m not sure. I have some tips from a pastry chef in the comments close to the recipe that may be helpful. I’m so glad you liked the cake though. Thanks so much! xo

  26. What icing did you use on this cake?  Can you please share the link?

    Thanks!

  27. Hi again,

    It was unclear to me if I needed to continue to beat with beaters after adding the eggs so I did.  The mixture seemed very thick to me.  Should it be?  In the process of making now 😂

    Thanks!

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